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Old 15-03-2013, 13:01   #46
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Re: Pretend you are a Newbie! - how would you start?

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I'd get my hands on a inexpensive sailing dingy or some such,ready to go.First learn to sail ,learning to maintain will come soon enough.Sail that dingy in all weathers, anchor out, camp on her,learn to sail her reefed,heave to, and anything else you can think of.
Leaving aside that this approach would not fit the "Go Now!" requirement of this challenge - nonetheless smaller would be my preffered suggestion for someone starting from zero, albeit probably not something dinghy sized that had a capacity to capsize regularly (unless younger and enjoyed that sort of thing!)...

.....apart from the sailing and boating angle (where you learn much stuff without even noticing), IMO the big plusses are the intro it gets you to folks on boats in your locale simply from having your boots / time on the ground - folks with boats of all sizes, what you do with that intro is up to you of course - and also learning about boat maintainence.....

......not so much specific skills (although useful, including being able to "give it a go" as the boat not your life savings!) but also to demonstrate that 5 minute jobs on boats tend to take a bit longer!, useful to really appreciate before buying 40' of 5 minute jobs ......yer might (aka will!)lose money in cash terms with the smaller boat, but should help you learn more that will save you money when buying "the boat", both on purchase price and from simply walking (or running?!) away, even before a survey.

Of course not the only way to learn.
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Old 15-03-2013, 13:28   #47
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Re: Pretend you are a Newbie! - how would you start?

I think the answer is going to be "you do what you can when you can".

For me, that is dictated by family situation. For others, it is dictated by health, career, finances, skill level, fear... what else?

How often is it that a total newbie simultaneously
- Decide he wants to go cruising
- Understands all that is required to accomplish that
- Has sufficient funding to do so
- Has the luxury to "decide" how he's going to approach it

Short of a major lotto win, it could hardly ever happen that way.

So people do what they can, when they can, and move forward from there.

10 people in different circumstances will likely take 10 different approaches
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Old 15-03-2013, 13:33   #48
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Re: Pretend you are a Newbie! - how would you start?

For the record, I think I'm ready to disagree with the "start small" approach. I have seen only negative experiences with this.

I would start with a comfortable, pleasant 30+ liveaboard with fair sailing ability near a calm, easy to navigate body of water. I would combination learn on my own, and learn from others as I found necessary or prudent. And of course I would spend 2 hours every day on the CF!
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Old 16-03-2013, 06:22   #49
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Re: Pretend you are a Newbie! - how would you start?

What Kettlewell and MarkJ said I think that racing is important to lean what (ALL THESE ROPES DO)
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Old 16-03-2013, 07:20   #50
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You need to take a multiple thread approach...
First...make sure your mate is with you at every step
....join the Power Squadron and take sailing classes. Listen to the wow stories for what you would different.
....start hanging out with sailors
....find boats to crew on
....make a list of subjects you need to know about...diesel, electricity, navigation and focus your evening Internet reading on them.
....count the people you will sail with...don't believe friends or family will join you often
....find a good social dock, it can even have power boaters on it...this is your new group of friends
....find a boat with a good hull, wheel, diesel, permanent birth for each sailor, and a galley you can live out of for the number of people that you will sail with. Everything can and will be fixed up over the years...Fixing your boat yourself ensures you will be able to maintain it. You don't need to start with any skills, you can learn and having something torn apart for a few days while you are at the dock doesn't freak out your mate. It's ok to have the boat yard complete major rebuilds.
....make sure the boat has heat and air

To save money
...buy a few large rolls of 12, 14, 16 gage marine wire, connectors
...buy full boxes of SS screws
...go to a flea market and buy a big roll of line
...make and maintain a list of thing you need so when good deals come up you can jump on it.

Have fun sailing is a lifestyle
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Old 16-03-2013, 08:11   #51
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Re: Pretend you are a Newbie! - how would you start?

I think the racing path is two-fold.

a) You learn what all the ropes are for ... but there are WAY TOO MANY ropes on a racing boat ... . One may get exposed to a new material overload that will put an end to their new love. Learning is fastest at A+1.

b) Many racing opportunities for newbies are crewing, while many cruising needs are driving.

I think nearly all the benefits of racing are contained in taking off on a simple, single dinghy: one sheet, tiller, daggerboard. Something that heels when the wind blows, accelerates when one trims the sail well, stops and flops when one does not do the basics well.

Racing is a GREAT school of sailing, but cruising is maybe 5% sailing.

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Old 16-03-2013, 10:35   #52
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Re: Pretend you are a Newbie! - how would you start?

I too agree on racing. I also agree that the sailing portion is only one part of being a good cruiser but I have to tell you...I have run into so may "cruisers" who are absolutely lousy sailors. Being a good sailor helps you get the most out of your boat in light air (most common offshore) and gives you a wonderful understanding of the practicle side of making your boat perform. No it doesn't teach you how to anchor properly or to hove to but nothing will teach you how to sail faster than getting involved with racing.
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Old 21-03-2013, 14:03   #53
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Re: Pretend you are a Newbie! - how would you start?

With only a short hop from Cape town to Walvis bay under my belt as far as sailing goes i was hooked.

I learned from that trip that the solo sailor is where my future lies, but pleasant interludes by nubiles would not be knocked back.

I wanted a catamaran so as not to spill me cuppa tea.

I am single and have no kids so could spend all $$$ on boat.

The Wharram cats held my interest because they were the only ones with bare chested hippie chicks on board.

I started the build buying the materials as i went along. I have a farmers market stall on the weekends so this enabled me to short change the nannas when i needed to buy epoxy or more plywood. It also allowed me time in the week to build the cat.

I read a lot of books and daydream and will start asking more and more annoying questions on C.F as the launch date gets closer.

When the cat is in the water i will start to save for a cruising kitty and then bugger off.
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Old 21-03-2013, 14:20   #54
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Re: Pretend you are a Newbie! - how would you start?

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5) Your budget is based on what you have available now (in cash, credit and income) - up to you how you use those.
If I started walking, I'd have to buy new shoes.

I'm out.
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Old 21-03-2013, 14:24   #55
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Re: Pretend you are a Newbie! - how would you start?

Kettlewell has it right in my opinion. READ, READ, READ. Go to marinas walk the docks. Talk, chat, admire, talk some more. Start on inland waterways and bays, Chesapeake, Long Island Sound, and such. Buy small and doable first. Cape Dory Typhoon or something in 22' to 24' range. Take short jaunts on the outside. ( ocean ). Weekenders next, anchor and sleep a couple weekends on hook and in marina. Eventually you will get offers to crew on larger vessels. Then deliveries up and down coast. Now have idea if you really are ready and wanting next step. then buy blue water cruiser with potential pursuit of circumnavigating.
Do not do like my prior boss did and buy a Bristol 35.5 without any sailing knowledge and ending up having me have to sail it for him every time he wanted to leave marina. But it sure helped my gain experience and knowledge of mistakes a newcomer can make. All without any outlay of cash. Plus I got free diners at local pub every weekend to boot! It also helped me narrow down my personal needs when selecting my current purchase of a 36' Colin Archer. ))
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Old 29-03-2013, 06:09   #56
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Thats how I started, no money, no experience. READ, READ READ! I purchased a Seafare 29 for 1300 never have sailed. Found a sailing captain and a few beers later I got some lessons. As a yachtsman for power boats, I have lots of on the water experience. The bigest expense to any boat is maintenance. My wife and I spent all winter of 2010 learning entire boat. The engine, how the rudder was held on, wiring AC/ DC, running rigging, climbing the mast, how to paint, plumbing. Learn your boat and how to fix what breaks. You can go ANYWHERE.... As one man said, Love yor Boat, and she will keep ya afloat. cheers to a new adventure
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Old 29-03-2013, 07:51   #57
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Re: Pretend you are a Newbie! - how would you start?

I think all this reading thing is overrated. Besides, modern people do not read - they lack attention span to get to the end of this post, let alone a sailing instruction/theory/history book!

I think reading will teach one much ABOUT sailing. Knowing much about sailing and knowing how to sail are two different things.

To learn sailing one has SAIL, SAIL, SAIL.

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Old 29-03-2013, 08:06   #58
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Re: Pretend you are a Newbie! - how would you start?

I would follow the Pardeys' rule.

Go small. Go simple. Go now.

I'm 55 and I have one cruise under my belt from a couple of years ago.

If I could go back in time, I would have used the Pardy rule to go when I was 18 or 19.
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Old 29-03-2013, 08:11   #59
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Re: Pretend you are a Newbie! - how would you start?

I too think going earlier rather than later is a good idea. I started sailing far and away at 35, I think it was at least 10 years too late.

But I am much against Pardey's 'now', much as I believe in their 'simple' and I am willing to adopt their 'small' as a working rule for anybody under 25 and not from a rich family.

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Old 29-03-2013, 08:12   #60
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I think reading will teach one much ABOUT sailing. Knowing much about sailing and knowing how to sail are two different things.

To learn sailing one has SAIL, SAIL, SAIL.

Yes but sailing alone can cost you mistakes. For instance Hoving too, the use of drogues, parachute anchors,reefing the sails. I remember one day sailing into Tampa bay in 25knot winds, no experience under full sail. I did not know about reefing sails or how you should never tie off the main sheet. Well lesson learned the hard way a nice gust of wind laid my boat flat, & I lost a $200 solar panel. Since then I read and then I practice what I read.
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